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2011/43/74 Dress, womens, silk / rayon, designed and made by Akira Isogawa, worn by Catherine Martin, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1999. Click to enlarge.

Akira dress

Made by Isogawa, Akira in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1999.

This below the knee cream silk dress has an asymmetrical hemline and hand embroidered floral designs on the front and back of the skirt. It was designed by Akira Isogawa of Sydney and is part of a collection of Australian and international designer clothing, shoes and bags from the personal wardrobe of Catherine Martin.

Catherine Martin is one of Australia’s outstanding creative talents, working as a production designer, film producer and costume designer on significant film, theatre and event...


Object No.


Object Statement

Dress, womens, silk / rayon, designed and made by Akira Isogawa, worn by Catherine Martin, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1999

Physical Description

Dress of figured cream silk with yellow tone at hem and around proper left middle. Flower and leaf pattern part of the cream material. Embellishments hand embroidered at back and front of skirt with dense floral design worked in red, gold, bronze and silver threads. Asymmetrical sleeveless dress features fitted bodice, straight neckline, narrow straps which crossover at back and below knee length skirt. Skirt longer at proper right side. Dress on proper left side is draped to the back and fastened with single plastic press stud. Proper left back zipper fastening with hook (no eye) at the top.


Label at proper left back - "Akira / 3".
Label at proper left back - "100% SILK / 100% RAYON LINING", on reverse side care instructions and "MADE IN AUSTRALIA".



380 mm



The dress was purchased from the Akira Isogawa store, Paddington and worn to the New Year's eve party on Sydney Harbour, 2000 hosted by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Collette Dinnigan and Lachlan Murdoch.

Catherine Martin was born in Sydney in 1965. She completed a Diploma Design course at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney. It was here that she met and started working on projects with her future husband and creative partner Baz Luhrmann (b 1962).

Martin's first design project with Luhrmann was his experimental opera entitled Lake Lost devised for the Australian Opera in 1987, for which she and her co-designer Angus Strathie won a Victorian Green Room Award for Best Design. She has designed all of Luhrmann's subsequent productions including Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996) for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction, A Midsummer Night's Dream (various season's 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2003) Moulin Rouge (2001) for which Martin won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and best Production Design, La Bohème (various productions, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2004) and Australia (2008).

Catherine Martin and Baz Luhrmann married in 1997 and in the same year co-founded their film, theatre and entertainment production company Bazmark Inq and its subsidiaries Bazmark Live and Bazmark Music.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Catherine Martin, 2011

Acquisition Date

21 June 2011

Cite this Object


Akira dress 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 August 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Akira dress |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 August 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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